It’s the Tuesday before 4th of July weekend. I am just done texting with a lovely man that I have been seeing over the past few weeks and learned that he has family in town and is not available to see me over the holiday weekend. I don’t know why I assumed we would have time together. Perhaps a picnic in the park and a walk along the lake. Perhaps some nice food, wine and conversation as usual. Perhaps some extra time in bed, in his arms. Perhaps brunch together the morning after. I was really assuming I would see him (clearly!). And now I am remembering why I went on vacation this time last year… being alone on the holidays after divorce is really tough.
Last year, my first year of being divorced, I remember distinctly being aware that the holidays were going to be rough. With the urging of my fabulous therapist, I made deliberate plans to distract myself during each and every major holiday. That strategy worked well. Valentine’s Day I made plans with girlfriends, Memorial Day I went to Montreal by myself and explored. 4th of July, I was wandering the streets of Paris. Labor Day, I was in New York City with a lover. Thanksgiving, I was with my mom. Christmas I was surrounded by good friends. New Year’s, I was in Florida visiting a friend. This year, Valentines – I launched my book (and drove it to #1 on Amazon!), Memorial Day – I was busy writing, blogging, working with my business partner on content for our new online educational course (all about embracing sexuality, body image and living a robust life in your 40’s+ – stay tuned!!). I’ve been doing really well. Until right now.
It’s not that I don’t have plans all weekend. I do have plans, but my whole weekend wasn’t planned. And maybe it shouldn’t be. But holidays are always a reminder. Holidays are often for family and I don’t have one – at least in the traditional sense. When I was married, at least we had each other. Though you couldn’t pay me a million dollars to go back to that scenario. I am not talking about missing being married. I am talking about missing having family or perhaps, traditions. I think establishing traditions can be one of the most difficult things after a divorce. Holidays are soaked with tradition and it’s time to establish new ones.
This 4th of July, I need to remember that I am free. I am free to do what I want, when I want. I am free to live the life that I want to live. I am free to have interesting relationships with fascinating men. And women! I am free to cultivate and explore friendships. Free to read. Free to write. Free to do whatever I want to inspire myself and live my life. And free to be sad and experience a little loneliness. Free to be human. Happy 4th everyone. May freedom reign.